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President Colin Diver's Message to the Community Concerning the Tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16

To the Reed College Community,

I know I speak for all members of the Reed College community in expressing my heartfelt sympathy and condolences for the victims of yesterday’s horrific shootings at Virginia Tech, their families and friends, and all members of the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, Virginia, communities.

As we mourn for those killed and injured in Virginia, our thoughts are necessarily also drawn to the safety, security, and support required for students, faculty, and staff here at Reed. The college strives above all to maintain at all times a safe learning and living environment for every member of this community. Campus safety requires good communication, appropriate support services, emergency planning, and specific security measures provided by our community safety professionals. We support our Community Safety Officers by promptly reporting suspicious behavior, locking doors after hours, not allowing strangers access to our residence halls, and by being conscious of building and personal security at all times. By working together we can create the safest possible environment for all.
Student Services staff were briefed this morning in anticipation of concerns that might be expressed by Reed students and parents in the aftermath of yesterday’s events at Virginia Tech. The Health and Counseling Center is available to help individuals respond to grief and trauma, and resident directors and house advisors are available to students living in the residence halls as well. Staff and faculty are encouraged to make use of the Employee Assistance Program. 

Yesterday’s shootings strike at the very heart of higher education’s noblest ideals—ideals of civility, toleration, and freedom of inquiry. As we reach out in sympathy to the victims of yesterday’s horror, we must strengthen our resolve not to let a random act of violence divert us from pursuit of those ideals.


Colin S. Diver, President